March 02, 2019
Amber Valletta in The Witness
A vision of the 1990s, the decade that's never gone away. There she goes, Amber Valletta, a supermodel with something to say; a former host on House of Style; a Vogue darling; a glossy mag phenom. Back when MTV, magazines, and having something to say meant something.
And even though Instagram has transformed (aka, slaughtered) fashion publishing, and TV tends to carry less weight than Twitter, we still give a shit. And so does Amber Valletta.
The Tulsa-born model has never stopped having a cultural moment. For nearly 20 years, she's made steady contributions to screens big (Hitch; Transporter 2) and small (Revenge; Legends), while maintaining her reign as one of the fashion world's favorite faces.
Here, she kindly addresses JMM's increasingly unconventional survey:
JMM: You've lived and/or worked in many places around the world. How does a sense of place influence your artistic practice/ performance?
Amber Valletta: My environment deeply affects my mood and creativity. If I am someplace that brings me joy either in nature or an amazing city then I feel inspired and energized by my surroundings. The more I love where I am at the more I can give to everyone and everything.
JMM: Which are your favorite cities, and what are the qualities that make them special?
Amber: I love the intricacies of LA. The weather and landscape are breathtaking but there are so many cool places to discover. Hidden gems of culture and history. Paris because it is Paris. I love walking there and just getting lost in it. I can get wrapped up in the romance of Paris and it's beauty. Rome for the history, insane food and sexy vibe! Tulsa because it is home and it is my heart.
JMM: What presently compels you to wake up in the morning?
Amber: My alarm clock! Then the thought of a matcha latte. And, if I am a good girl, meditation.
JMM: Can you tell us the story of the last time you felt “out of your comfort zone”?
Amber: Answering these questions, especially about which human organ would I eat if I HAD to! Lol
JMM: If you could travel through time, would you go into the past or the future?
Amber: I would like to go back to when my son was a baby to hold and love on him again.
JMM: What song would you choose to dance to at 5 in the morning?
Amber: Seriously! I would like to be asleep at 5am! But if I had to be awake I'd say something very peaceful and meditative to start the day or to help go to sleep.
JMM: Can you describe the last time you had déjà vu?
Amber: It was the other day when I was driving and talking on the phone. Nothing big but I felt I had already been literally down that road.
JMM: What is your longest standing obsession?
Amber: My eyebrows!!!!!!!!!!!! It is about symmetry. I can't stand to see other peoples' eyebrows screwed up either.
JMM: What is your favorite erotic image?
Amber: Not sure. I have never given it any thought. Probably whatever comes into my mind when I am feeling erotic.
JMM: Where do you go, what do you do, to be alone?
Amber: I meditate. I go to places like Big Sur. I hike in the mountains near my house in LA. I read in bed. Or take a bath with salts and oils before bed.
JMM: Which do you find most (real and/or metaphoric) value in: a window, a mirror, or a prism?
Amber: A window. You can see everything and a slight reflection of yourself but it isn't all about you which I like. Outward facing but ever-reminded to look within.
JMM: Describe your scariest encounter with an animal.
Amber: I grew up going to my grandparents farm every weekend when I was a kid and there were lots of snake sightings in the creek. Lots of screaming, “Run! Water moccasin!”
JMM: If you had to eat a human organ, which would it be?
Amber: Brain maybe would be the tastiest...
JMM: Would you rather be entombed alive or instantly vaporized?
Amber: Entombed alive sounds freaking scary, I will take instantly vaporized please.
JMM: Sunrises or sunsets?
Amber: Sunsets all the way! Golden hour...